In brief: Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is putting in place a pro-active and user-friendly communications programme to target its stakeholders in particular and to ensure regular news is provided and all feedback is embraced so that everyone is kept better informed about the Commission’s role and its various activities.
Communication methods will include:
· Monthly e-news bulletins
· Using some advertising and editorial to build a clearer understanding of CHC’s roles and responsibilities
· Website enhancements to improve information for stakeholders
· Producing a bi-annual Cowes Harbour newsletter
· Improved distribution and better transparency of the CHC Annual Report and Accounts
· A review and possible revision of an Advisory Committee / User Group
· A monthly Feedback Forum – public Surgery with the Harbour Master
· A programme of presentations to stakeholder organisations
· Annual Public Meeting to present CHC Report and Accounts
Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC), the statutory harbour authority for the Isle of Wight’s Cowes Harbour, has finalised plans for mounting a concerted and pro-active communications effort, effective immediately. The communications objective is set to provide its many and varied stakeholder organisations such as yachts clubs and local business associations, Town Councils etc, with a more regular channel for sharing news and views as well as providing more opportunities for direct feedback from harbour users and the public.
Whilst in general Harbour Authority information has always been available via various channels, the Commission freely admits that not everyone realises the options available to them for keeping up to date with Commission news.
Captain Stuart McIntosh, the Cowes Harbour Master, commented: “There are still people in Cowes who don’t actually understand CHC’s role or its objectives, let alone the parameters within which it has to operate under Government guidelines. The Commission has taken on board the fact that we need to take practical measures to ensure we get our message out there on a more regular basis from now on, and ensure that our stakeholders feel able to communicate with the Commission.”
The Commission wholeheartedly accepts that it is a fundamental part of its remit to ensure clarity and transparency. Additional avenues that allow for more regular communication will be rolled out over the coming months. These include plans to create a clearer CHC web presence, producing a set of questions and answers written in layman’s language and the introduction of a ‘Feedback Forum’ that will take the form of a public Surgery with the Harbour Master.
Furthermore, the Commission has agreed to hold a regular Annual Public Meeting, timed to coincide with the publication of its report and accounts in June each year, rather than having ad-hoc issued-based meetings as has previously been the case.